Yorkshire-based sustainability consultants EV3 Power and plant hire company Think Hire have developed a new solartainer solution that reduces carbon emissions for off-grid sites by 99%.

By using HVO fuel – one of the cleanest fuels on the market - in diesel generators attached to the solartainers, EV3 and Think Hire have taken another significant step to completely reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the construction sector.

The news follows last month’s announcement of a major collaboration between EV3 Power and Think Hire aimed at providing housing developers, contractors, civil engineering and construction companies with fully environmentally friendly plant, enabling them to meet new environmental targets and combat climate change.

The Solution
The previous solution used EV3’s innovative recharge technology to provide a renewable power source for electric plant and equipment - such as telehandlers, diggers and cranes – that were traditionally recharged on-site using diesel generators. By connecting solar panels, batteries and electric chargers, EV3 helped cut the running time of diesel generators by half, significantly reducing fuel costs.

By using HVO fuel - a second-generation, synthetic, advanced renewable diesel alternative – they are now able to eliminate up to 90% of net CO2 and significantly reduces nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) emissions when the generator is use.

The combination of EV3’s renewable energy solution and HVO – a drop-in alternative to fossil diesel that meets EN 15940 standards and Fuel Quality Directive 2009/30/EC Annex II - allows companies using off-grid solutions to meet their environmental requirements and save money without disrupting their current infrastructure.

Helping the Environment Agency
Driving the development of the solartainer as a renewable energy source is the announcement by the Environment Agency (EA) that they were targeting net zero emissions by 2030. “We are under no illusion about the scale of the challenge that we have set ourselves,” said EA Chair, Emma Howard Boyd. “But action is needed if we are to preserve our planet for future generations.”

The EA announcement underlined the role that suppliers and contractors would have to play in achieving this goal. ‘The organisation will be working with suppliers and other stakeholders to explore how they can reduce their carbon footprint, and harness the technological innovation of the future to reach these ambitious goals’ said the press release.

Cutting Carbon
Think Hire have long been champions of the environment, with a wide range of solar and wind turbine powered products already in their range. “There are many benefits to using renewable energy on site,” explained Neil Richardson, Managing Director, Think Hire. “Not only does it reduce emissions such as CO2 NOx, SO2 and PM, it also cuts out the noise pollution of diesel generators and significantly cuts fuel costs for the project.”

Think Hire proved their environmental credentials in their recent work with Taziker on behalf of Network Rail. The six-month project involved the repair of three railway bridges near Manea station on the Ely to Peterborough line. Thanks to the environmentally friendly equipment provided by Think Hire, including solar powered welfare units, solar powered site accommodation and solar powered site lighting, carbon emissions were reduced by over 88% across three compounds.

EV3 Power works with a number of large infrastructure and civil engineering business to develop innovations that help them save costs and become more environmentally friendly.

Managing director, Pete Bevils, said: “Solartainers have been a great way to lessen the environmental impact of a site. The challenge was to overcome the diesel generator which usually runs 24h a day on site. Our system integrates the solartainer panels, battery and an EV charging unit. The battery stores energy which can used as needed, so the normal runtimes are halved to 12 hours per day.

“The introduction of HVO fuel means that even while the generator is running, emissions are kept to a minimum.

“This is a game changer in the industry which works on very tight margins. The fuel savings alone are significant, but coupled with the environmental considerations, we hope this will help change the way sites operate.”

Changing charging
The new collaboration between Think Hire and EV3 will provide relocatable, renewable energy sources which can be used to charge electric equipment at any off-grid site. This includes plant, cars and all other site vehicles.

Even sites connected to the grid can benefit from carbon reduction using the new services. While the National Grid has been steadily increasing the amount of power it generates from renewable energy, this is still less than half of all output. Sites using equipment from Think Hire and EV3 will be able to increase their renewable energy use to 100%.

For more details of the new collaboration between Think Hire and EV3, please contact Pete Bevils, managing director, pete.bevils@ev3power.co.uk and Neil Richardson, managing director, neilrichardson@thinkhire.co.uk